The Last Gentleman Adventurer: Coming of Age in the Arcticby Edward Beauclerk Maurice
Pub. Date: 11/01/2006
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
At sixteen, Edward Beauclerk Maurice impulsively signed up with the Hudson's Bay Company -- the company of Gentleman Adventurers -- and ended up at an isolated trading post in the Canadian Arctic, where there was no communication with the outside world and only one ship arrived each year. But he was not alone. The Inuit people who traded there taught him how to
At sixteen, Edward Beauclerk Maurice impulsively signed up with the Hudson's Bay Company -- the company of Gentleman Adventurers -- and ended up at an isolated trading post in the Canadian Arctic, where there was no communication with the outside world and only one ship arrived each year. But he was not alone. The Inuit people who traded there taught him how to track polar bears, build igloos, and survive ferocious winter storms. He learned their language and became completely immersed in their culture, earning the name Issumatak, meaning “he who thinks.”
In The Last Gentleman Adventurer, Edward Beauclerk Maurice relates his story of coming of age in the Arctic and transports the reader to a time and a way of life now lost forever.
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Table of Contents
Foreword by Lawrence Millman ix
Part One THE BOY 1
Part Two ISSUMATAK 159
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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If you like wilderness living in cold forbidden places, this is an autobiography of an employee of the Hudson Bay Company living and working, cut off from the rest of the world in the 1930s on Baffin Island. I really want to make a trip there now!
With a totally understated style, the author reminisces about his youth spent in the Arctic for the Hudson Bay Company. Warm respect for the Natives marks this young man as far ahead of his time. The book works on personal, archaeological, historical and adventuresome levels all at once. A great read.
I can't disagree with the previous reviewer more. I can't keep this on my shelf because all my friends want to borrow it. In fact, I have just ordered a second copy. Mr Maurice and his daughters write in a clear present style that takes you to the very moment of his tale. Based on his extensive journals written from 1930 to 1939 they have reconstructed the people, places and feel of the time and community. Having lived in Labrador for four years myself I can attest that his writing of the graciousness of the people and the fierceness of the weather is totally true. I greatly regret that there will not be another collection of his stories since the author has gone onto his next great adventure in his mid 90's.